Annihilation Week

Annihilation Week Exclusive—New Guardians of the Galaxy

A brand new series spins out of ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST with a team of cosmic protectors determined to save the Marvel Univers

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By Ben Morse A cosmos as crazy as the Marvel Universe needs all the able-bodied protectors it can find—luckily it's about to get the Guardians of the Galaxy. With an old name but very new team and purpose, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY launches out of the ashes of Annihilation: Conquest this June with CONQUEST and NOVA co-writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning at the helm along with artist Paul Pelletier, who will complete a brief tour on NOVA just in time to report for duty. "As we worked on ANNIHILATION and ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST, we were reminded how many cool and interesting cosmic characters there were in the Marvel Universe," says Lanning. "We wanted to tell more stories about them and thought it was about time Marvel had a cosmic team. GUARDIANS is a natural continuation of some of the characters we've gotten to know and love during CONQUEST."

NOVA black and
white art by Paul
Pelletier

While the roster of the Guardians will remain a mystery until we find out who makes it out of CONQUEST alive—more on that in a bit—fans can cross one name off their list of potential team players: Nova, the Human Rocket. "Nova is a cosmic lone ranger while the Guardians are more like the cosmic Avengers," explains Abnett. "They've lived through the two terrible Annihilation events and are thus grimly determined not to let such disasters occur again. The team is made up of strong individuals, many of whom have little experience working in a team, but they are united by the common goal of protecting the universe." However, despite the classic team name, the writing duo promises GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY will deliver the unexpected when it comes to exotic locales, unorthodox villains and sometimes even stranger heroes.

NOVA black and
white art by Paul
Pelletier

"For reasons we'll reveal later, [the] stories will be off-beat, quirky and strange," teases Lanning. "One of our first stories will deal with somebody taking advantage of the aftermath of CONQUEST to expand their power base. [And] apart from the new threats and menaces, we're planning on the return of at lest one old, old foe and an even older hero." So the big question remains: who will make the Conquest cut and fly high through the stars with the new Guardians of the Galaxy? We asked DnA—that's Dan and Andy for the uninitiated—for comments on some of our favorite characters and their shot at being on that final roster.

QUASAR DnA: "Assuming Quasar makes it through CONQUEST alive, [she] would probably be a serious contender for any cosmic team. She's got the powers and she's got the pedigree—if only she had the confidence to believe that she's worthy of it. If the Guardians are the cosmic Avengers, then Quasar ought to be guaranteed a place as she's an A-list cosmic hero as her role in CONQUEST demonstrates." Odds: EVEN

STAR-LORD DnA: "Peter Quill [still] feels responsible for [the events of] ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST. It was him who gave the Transmode-infected Space Knights access to the Kree War-Net [which] kicked off the invasion of the Kree Empire. He needs to make amends, so he would definitely want to be a part of a team that's dedicated to making sure things like ANNIHILATION do not happen [again]. But, will the Guardians want an unpowered member?" Odds: 6-4 on

MOONDRAGON DnA: "Heather Douglas is absolutely 100% Guardians of the Galaxy material— she has the credentials, the looks, the powers and the experience. There's only one small draw back to her being a shoe-in: she's dead. We cannot see a way of her overcoming this particular handicap any time soon."

Odds: non-runner ROCKET RACCOON DnA: "A tactical genius and, unlikely as it may seem, a valuable member of any team, Rocket should earn a place in the Guardians providing the Phalanx haven't turned him into a fur hat by the end of Conquest!" Odds: short

WRAITH DnA: "Wraith's enigmatic nature and single-minded purpose would suggest that he would not make a good team player. But, he is a serious new power on the cosmic field. Any team would value his abilities but they just have to get past his cold, blank, soulless, icy, emotionless, life-sapping, pitiless,

uncompromising death stare..." Odds: 6-4 against SUPER-SKRULL DnA: "The one man Fantastic Four is a team in his own right, so he ought to make the grade…but does anyone trust Skrulls these days?" Odds: Changeable

STARFOX DnA: "Son of Mentor, brother to Thanos, the Titan known as Starfox would be an asset to any team. But where has he been during the events [of] ANNIHILATION and CONQUEST? And is he even interested in the affairs of mere mortals?" Odds: 25-1

FIRELORD DnA: "Any self-respecting cosmic team should have a former Herald of Galactus on it. Seeing as the Silver Surfer no longer falls into that category and most of the other picks are barking nut jobs, Firelord would seem to be a safe bet. But, can he be recalled from his quest to avenge the fall of Xandar?" Odds: 691-1

HOWARD THE DUCK DnA: "He's a duck. He's called Howard. Who wouldn't want him?" Odds: Very U.S. ARCHER DnA: "Absolutely, positively, no way does this team need a Captain

America wannabe...oh! Not USAgent? U.S. ARCHER! Archer's got a space truck and every team needs supplies, so he could be the vital link in the area of logistics. He could be the team's teamster. He's also got a C.B. radio built into his head—with that cutting edge technology, he's vital! But the Guardians are going to have to Unionize!" Odds: 2-1 fav, providing they have full medical and dental coverage Who will become the Guardians of the Galaxy? Keep reading ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST and find out this June when the first issue of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY hits stands! And keep it here all week for more big Marvel cosmic news as Annihilation Week keeps soaring!

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